Monophasic Birth Control: A Brief History
The word “mono” means one and “phasis” means pair or combination. For example, there are two pairs of shoes: One pair is made up of leather and have soles made out of different materials; another pair consists of canvas with soles made out of the same material.
Both pairs are called “leather” because they consist of two different materials. However, one pair is made up of leather and has soles made out of the same material; the other pair consists of canvas with soles made out of the same material. These types of shoes have been used since ancient times.
In Ancient Greece, there was a man named Polybius (who lived around 200 BC). He wrote several books about history and medicine.
His most famous book is On Health and Disease. In it, he mentions that the use of bronze was common during the Roman Empire. During this time period, people were using bronze to make weapons, tools, armor and many other things. Because of its hardness, it could not be used for making shoes because it would crack easily when worn on the feet.
Ancient Greek doctors believed that metal in a shoe was too hard for the human foot and could only be used for experiments. Later on, ancient Romans used copper to make sandals, which were softer than the weapons they were using.
In fact, the Latin word for copper is “cuprum,” which is also the root of our modern word: “cup.”
The word “monophasic” comes from the same root word as “mono” and the root word “phasic.” The word “phasic” means “relating to a phase or period.” A phase is the different phases of the moon.
If you want to predict the weather, you should look at the different phase of the moon. For example, if there is a full moon, it is much more likely that there will be higher than average tides (for obvious reasons).
Monophasic birth control pills were developed in the 1960’s. They are made of just one type of drug and they will not disrupt your hormones.
In other words, they can be used during the week that you take out your uterine device (such as an IUD). There are two types of monophasic pills:
Conventional monophasic birth control pills have low and high doses of estrogen and progestin.
Co-cyprindiol monophasic pills have a combination of estrogen and cyproterone.
Monophasic birth control pills are only used during certain weeks of your menstrual cycle. The first week that you take the pill, it helps your body get ready to accept the uterine device.
If you have heavy periods, there is no scientific evidence to show that monophasic birth control pills can decrease your period flow. However, if you have very light periods, it can sometimes help.
Monophasic birth control pills can stop your period altogether if you take them every day without missing any days. Since monophasic birth control pills have only one type of drug that gets into your body, they are easier to take and you will experience fewer side effects than with the triphasic or biphasic pills.
Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle
All women have hormonal changes throughout their life. These changes are part of what causes puberty to begin and for a woman to be able to get pregnant.
Every month, right before a woman gets her period, she goes through a process called “menstruation.” It takes about four weeks for all of the uterine lining to leave the body. A woman does not get her period every month because a very thin layer of endometrial cells build up in the uterus. About every 28 days, if there are no eggs released from the ovary, the endometrial cells that were built up are sloughed off. If an egg is released from the ovary and fertilized by a man’s (sperm) cell, the endometrium is needed to help nourish the egg as it becomes a fetus.
If you are a normal, healthy woman, the lining of your uterus is replaced every 28 days. The only reason that you get your period is because an egg has been released from an ovary (for those of you who have already gone through puberty).
The thickened lining of the uterus that is left behind comes out of your body as menstruation.
Some women have a menstrual cycle that is different than 28 days. Most women’s menstrual cycles are between 24 and 34 days long.
Anything outside of this range could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. If you consistently have very short (21 days or less) or very long (32 days or more) menstrual cycles, you should see your doctor.
During a normal menstrual cycle, what are some of the changes that take place in your body?
The menstrual cycle is the process that prepares a woman’s body for possible pregnancy. A woman can get pregnant at any time during the cycle, but once pregnancy starts, the uterine lining will no longer be needed and will be shed as part of menstruation (period). The lining builds up, breaks down and is shed during this process.
The time before a woman’s period is called the follicular phase and is the first phase of the menstrual cycle.
During this phase, what are some changes that occur in a woman’s body?
After the bleeding stops, the follicular phase begins. The hormones estrogen and progesterone cause the lining of the uterus to build up again.
The time after a woman’s period and before her next period is called what?
After the shedding of the lining of the uterus, a woman’s body goes through a process called hormonal withdrawal.
What are some of the things that can happen to a woman’s body during this process?
The week before a woman gets her period is called the menstrual phase.
During this time, what are some changes that occur in a woman’s body?
There are many different kinds of hormonal birth control available. Name three of them.
The hormonal IUD prevents the lining of the uterus from building up. This means that it will not shed during menstruation (period).
The hormonal IUD can be left inside the uterus for up to 5 years, but it can be removed at any time by a healthcare provider.
The other kinds of hormonal birth control are often taken in pill form, by injections or by patches that you place on your skin.
What is the difference between “traditional” hormonal methods of birth control and the contraceptive patch, pill or injection?
The patch, pill and injection all contain the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is a female hormone that helps to prevent ovulation (the release of a mature egg from an ovary). Small amounts of progesterone are also made by the body during pregnancy.
There are several kinds of traditional hormonal birth control methods.
What are they called and what do they do?
Barrier methods prevent the male’s ejaculate (sperm and other fluids) from entering the woman’s body. The withdrawal method is not considered a reliable form of birth control because it can fail.
The pull-out method is exactly what it sounds like. At the moment before ejaculation, the male partner withdraws his genitals from the woman’s genitals.
He then ejaculates away from the woman’s body. This approach does not provide protection against STIs, so it is not recommended.
The safe period in which you can have unprotected vaginal sexual activity and not get pregnant is called what?
The rhythm method is based on the woman’s monthly cycle.
When can a woman have sexual activity and not get pregnant?
The withdrawal method is when the male partner removes his genitals from the female partner’s body before he ejaculates (cums). This does not protect against STIs so it is not considered to be a reliable form of birth control.
The rhythm method is based on avoiding sexual activity during the part of the month when a woman is most likely to be able to get pregnant.
What are some other ways to avoid getting pregnant?
The rhythm method and fertility awareness are two ways of preventing pregnancy that do not involve using any form of birth control. Name two more.
Fertility awareness is when a woman uses her body’s signs to tell whether she can get pregnant or not.
What are some of the ways that a woman can use this technique to prevent pregnancy?
Withdrawal (also known as pulling out): The male partner removes his genitals from the female partner’s body before he ejaculates (cums).
Abstinence means that a person does not have any sexual activity of any kind.
Name some ways that people live as abstinent?
The male partner has his genitals covered by a latex (rubber) sheath before having any genital contact with the female partner.
The male partner puts on a latex (rubber) sheath before having any genital contact with the female partner.
How do you prevent STIs and pregnancy when engaging in sexual activity?
The female partner has a barrier sheath (a small container with a ring on each end) that covers the cervix (entrance to the uterus or womb). It is put in place by the male partner immediately before sexual activity.
What are some of the ways that a couple can engage in sexual activity and still avoid pregnancy?
The female partner takes hormones that make her temporarily infertile. These hormones are “the pill” and implants.
What are some ways that a female can be temporarily sterile so she does not get pregnant?
The woman has surgery to make her unable to have children. This is called a hysterectomy.
What is another name for having your tubes tied?
The male partner has a procedure (vasectomy) that makes him unable to have children.
What is another name for a male having a sterilization procedure?
The female partner has a small operation that blocks the entrance to her cervix (entrance to the uterus or womb).
What is another name for having your cervix tied?
A couple decides not to have children.
What is another word for deciding not to have children?
The couple uses birth control at the time of sexual activity. They use different types of birth control at different times.
Name some ways that a couple can use birth control to prevent pregnancy?
The couple uses birth control all the time so that they will not get pregnant or catch an STI.
What are some ways that a couple can use birth control?
Condoms (rubber johnnies) cover the male genitals during sexual activity and catch the sperms so that they cannot enter the female body. They also help prevent STIs.
What is another name for a latex sheath (pronounced “sheeth”)?
The male partner puts the female partner on the pill so that she does not get pregnant.
What is another word for putting the female on the pill?
Various things can happen and the couple’s doctor or a nurse takes care of them. If it is an accident, then there was no plan to have a baby and no birth control was used.
What is another word for having a baby without birth control?
The couple does not have any sexual activity of any kind.
What is another word for no sexual activity at all?
The female partner is a virgin when she gets married.
What does it mean to be a virgin?
The male partner does not ejaculate (also called coming or orgasming). He holds the ejaculation inside his body. He does this by squeezing his muscles. He can also use condoms to prevent pregnancy and STIs.
What is another word for not coming when you have an erection?
The female partner does not let the male inside her body (also called having “dry” or “vaginal” or “intimate” or “penetrative” or “coital” or “sexual” or “intercourse”).
What is another word for no penile-vaginal penetration?
The couple does not have sexual activity of any kind. No penile comes in contact with the vaginal area at all.
What is another word for no intimacy of any kind?
The couple uses the rhythm method or natural family planning (NFP). They track the woman’s menstrual cycle and only have sexual activity (penile-vaginal penetration and ejaculation) during a short period of time each month.
What is another word for using the rhythm method or natural family planning (NFP)?
The couple uses a barrier method of birth control. A barrier is put between the two bodies to prevent pregnancy.
What is another name for a barrier method of birth control?
There are many types of birth control. Some can be used by women and men. Other types are for women only and other types are for men only.
Sources & references used in this article:
Biphasic versus monophasic oral contraceptives for contraception by HAAM Van Vliet, DA Grimes… – Cochrane Database …, 2006 – cochranelibrary.com
Headache and female hormones: what you need to know by SD Silberstein – Current opinion in neurology, 2001 – journals.lww.com
Oral contraceptives for functional ovarian cysts by BUTDTKTO ASK – 2006
Extended-cycle oral contraceptive pills with 10 μg ethinyl estradiol pills in place of placebo pills by DA Grimes, LSB Jones, LM Lopez… – Cochrane Database of …, 2011 – cochranelibrary.com